Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Update

It's already December 21st. Three days until Christmas Eve. It's gone fast, don't you think? My kids got out of school on Wednesday for FOR.5.WEEKS. Agggggghhhhhh. But, I'm not going to think about that little bit of information until after Christmas, one day at a time, right?

First off, a couple of thanks-first to my mom for providing my new header photo. It's only taken me 5 months in Brazil to change out my Mexico picture, so you'll probably be looking at a Christmas tree for most of 2008. The photo was taken from our patio; the light up near the top of the photo is the Christ the Redeemer statue under clouds.

And, thanks my great friend "K-squaredsmom" that I knew in Small Town Mexico. She was always so thoughtful while we lived there, always remembering everyone's birthdays and such and she hasn't stopped even though we now live on different continents. She sent this beautiful African (I'm assuming?) tablecloth to the States with her husband earlier this month when he and Gaupo had a meeting there:

I love it!

And now, on to my Christmas report

Just One Loser Activitiy

Last year, one of my very favorite activites was the prefab gingerbread house I found at Costco. It was easy, all-inclusive and fairly easy to clean up after. So, I spent the big bucks and ordered on and had it shipped to Guapo's office in the States.

It all started out fine. First we got the foundation up:

But shortly thereafter things started going very, very wrong:

Until we were left with this sorry excuse of a gingerbread house:

Word to the wise: this is not a project for those of us living in a tropical region.

Winner Activities:

Ornaments. I ordered several different ornament craft kits from Oriental Trading; the idea was for us to work on them together and then for the kids to give them to the kids in their classes. At first I thought it was a big mistake because they all required glue gun usage, and only a couple of my kids can handle that, but we just put everything in a box and worked on it when we had time whilst listening to Christmas music. (ok, I did end up staying up late one night to finish, but they were still pretty cute):

Then we wrapped each kid's ornaments in cellophane and they took them to school the last day:

(BTW: the flying pig??? was the most popular ornament)

Do I want to do this every year? No. But it was fun this year.

Little Christmas Shop:

I explained this project here. We did it last night and I thought it was really fun. The kids did chores all month, then used their "money" to buy presents (that I had previously purchased) for Guapo and me, my mom and each other:

They wrapped and labeled all of their gifts and placed them under the tree. Here's Juan Carlos wrapping:

They all knew what they'd bought for each other in about 4.5 seconds, but it was still a good time.

I think we'll try this again next year.

Christmas Books: Anyone looking for a cute Christmas story? Olivia Helps with Christmas has been my kids' favorite book this year.

Well that's it for now. We're in the final push, so I'm pretty busy. Hope everyone is enjoying the season!


marina said...

Gabriela, I just love the way you tell stories..I love the knew pictures of Christmas it looks so beauitful over there and if that is your view WOW!!what a view!I love the ordaments too cute,'a friend of my sent me a ecard of a christmas story with a little cat from
and I had wanted to send it to you to read it to your kids my son loved it ,if you want to to can go over to my website and email me and I can email you the cute ecard store,if not its ok have a Merry Christmas and its has been nice getting to know you and you family.
Blessing these Christmas season .marina

No Cool Story said...

I love the Olivia books, so cute.
Aww, you poor gingerbread house :(

That picture is amazing. I loves!
5 weeks off? Ay ay ay!

Have a super fabulous week Gabs ;)

Anonymous said...

Sitting in Miami, 13 hours after we arrived waiting for that ridiculous flight that they changed on me! As always, you brighten my days, provide me with laughs and inspire me to do better!
love ya Gabs, and looking forward to the rest of the 5 weeks left after Christmas to hang out!
Have a Merry Christmas and a big 2 kisses for everyone!

No Cool Story said...

Feliz Christmas!!!

Handiemom said...

I'm sorry about your Costco gingerbread house, but I do love your new picture. We opted not to do the house this year. After seeing yours, I'm not sad.

Great other ideas for Christmas. If I get organized enough I will definitely try them next year.

JustRandi said...

Wow Gabriella- I just found your blog through NCS. I am just amazed. I've always thought it would be so fun to live in different places in the world!!!
What does your husband do that you need a bodyguard? Or maybe you can't say?

Maine Mom said...

What a beautiful view you have out your window!

And I thought having the kids home for a week and a half would be tough...good luck!

Bummer about your gingerbread house! All that work piled in a heap. :-(

Cute ornaments! I'll have to remember this gift idea next year. I also like your Little Christmas Shop idea.

I hope you had a nice Christmas!

Blackeyedsue said...

Awww. The Costco gingerbread house made me sad. That happened to us last year. Two words, hot glue. By the time we got around to smashing and eating it, it was stale anyways.

I love the Little Christmas Shop. How smart is that. I am going to steal that idea from you and do that next year...with your permission of course.